In response to a user request at Access World Forums, I created a kiosk style database intended for use with a barcode scanner and which can be 'locked'.
The main purpose is to maintain focus on an Access form by preventing users moving outside the database 'window'. The application will work in both 32-bit & 64-bit Access and needs to be saved to a trusted location
The application has a main form which runs floating on the Windows desktop with the following items all removed / hidden
- Access application window / title and menu bars / command buttons
- Navigation pane / ribbon
- Windows taskbar and desktop icons (all restored on closing the app)
In addition, the vast majority of keyboard entries have been disabled (apart from some deliberate exceptions)
For the purposes of this demo ONLY, some aspects have deliberately not been locked down:
1. To close the app, click Ctrl+Q
2. To display the taskbar, press Ctrl+Shift+T
3. To re-enable the shift bypass key next time this is opened, press Ctrl+Shift+K, then enter the password (supplied on the form)
4. To view a separate Settings form, press Ctrl+S. Access MUST be Run As Administrator to do this
All of these shortcuts are included in an Autokeys macro
This DEMO application has known limitations:
1. When you first open this after downloading, active content will be disabled and you will be able to see nav pane, title bar etc. After you enable content it will work as intended.
Better still run this from a trusted location as suggested above
2. Users can still use certain keyboard combinations such as Alt+Tab and the Windows key. To disable these requires remapping the keyboard by making changes to the Windows registry.
The zip file includes two Word documents explaining how this is done
The DEMO app does NOT makes any changes to the registry
In the final production version, the app would be installed using a self extracting EXE file and include various changes including:
a) distributed as an ACCDE file
b) all keyboard shortcuts removed
c) when the app is run, it checks whether the keyboard has been disabled.
If not, it first remaps the keyboard to prevents all keyboard combinations which could be used to move outside the app, then the app quits
As the registry changes only apply after restarting Windows, this is done automatically then the kiosk app opens immediately after Windows loads
e) the app can only be closed using a button on the form. On closing, the app restarts Windows and restores the keyboard/taskbar etc
For obvious reasons, it is not appropriate to supply a version here that does all of this.
If you choose to develop a version that does so, the usual disclaimer applies that it is at your own risk
Click to download: Kiosk Style App (zipped)
Click any image to view a larger version ...